For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil. 2:9-11
It’s funny how God uses things in ways I never expect. Actually, I don’t know why that’s funny to me. I ought to know by now that His creativity, influence, and purposes exceed mine by, oh, about infinity. Last Monday I wrote a post about not looking ahead in life to the point that we blow right past what God intends for us today. Not long after I posted it, I got a chat request from a friend who lives in a communist country where she is not allowed to speak openly about Christ. Control is so tight in that country that Facebook is blocked. She has to use a VPN in order to log on and keep up with people back home. We were talking in very general terms…she’d been wishing for a fast forward button, anxious to come home – looking forward to being able to speak/ type freely about whatever she wants, ready for a little self expression. That’s why that blog entry resonated so well with her.
My friend knows the caution she must use in any kind of correspondence, and is very careful to do so. Still, it didn’t take long before our conversation was being monitored and edited as we typed. On her end, parts of our chat were greyed out with exclamation yield signs beside them, and then her comments started going through out of order. Looking back over the chat, it looks like the editing started when I forgot and typed the word, “God.”
If seems a little extreme, that’s because it is. And you have to wonder why. Why do governments in other parts of the world go to such great lengths to keep quiet the name of Jesus? Why must Christians meet in secret, under threat of arrest or death? Why are over 200 million Christians in at least 60 countries denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith?
The answer is simple – there is power and freedom in the name of Jesus. Not Muhammad, not Gautama Buddha, not Joseph Smith, not L. Ron Hubbard…just Jesus. You can try and stifle it, you can try and cover it up, and you can fool yourself into thinking you’re editing Him out of existence all you want. But there is not one thing any person or government can do to change who He is, what He is doing in the lives of those who trust Him, and His ability to make Himself known. Even if His people do keep quiet, the rocks will cry out (Luke 19:40). You can’t edit rocks. He is the beginning and the end, the name above all names, the One before whom all of creation will bow. In the end, all who oppose Him, lose.
I look at that picture and wonder if we will ever understand, this side of heaven, the privilege we have in this country of hearing and confessing the name of Jesus so easily. We can post His name on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, a blog, and a hundred other places 20 times a day if we want. We can come and go as we please through the doors of our churches to meet with other believers, praise His name, and study His Word. Will we use that privilege to pray for those who can’t? Will we use that privilege to take the gospel to all nations? Or will we take it for granted and by our inaction, unwittingly aid those who are this moment greying out chats and threatening those who do understand?
I liked having that song link in the last post. So here’s another one that fits perfectly with today. Give it a listen. Your Great Name, Natalie Grant